Ne-Do-Ba   (Friends)
Exploring & Sharing the Wabanaki History of Interior New England
A Maine Nonprofit Corporation - 501(c)3 Public Charity

 Home > People > Index > M > Masta              Skip Content x

Jean Baptiste Masta

Last updated August-2008

Although John Baptiste Masta's career as a physician was a distinguished one, caring for patients was simply one way in which he showed his generosity of spirit. Masta was appreciated in many ways by the people of Barton, from his church donations to the advice and counsel he offered friends. His sudden death in 1861 left a void among his friends and patients in Barton.

In 1819, Masta was born in the Parish of St. Francis in Quebec. His ancestry included both Native American and French roots. Details of Masta's early life are sketchy, but his childhood was at the very least a humble one.

Jean Baptiste Masta

Masta pursued his education with rare perseverance. In 1838, he came to the United States and began to study English. In 1839, he entered Dartmouth College, like his older half brother had done before him. During his years of study, he worked as a bootblack, waiter, messenger, and jack-of-all-trades. Masta left the college due to ill health.

Although unwell, Masta continued his studies elsewhere. He briefly entered a French Protestant Mission near Montreal in the hope of becoming a minister, but his health forced him to withdraw. Masta joined his brother, Dr. Joseph A. Masta, in Barton and briefly studied medicine with him. He also worked with a doctor in Derby before returning to Dartmouth in 1847 to attend the course in medical lectures. Masta received his medical degree in 1850.

John Masta assumed his brother's medical practice in Barton when Joseph relocated to Massachusetts. His work took him across several counties in Vermont and into Canada and brought him into contact with a broad range of people in the area. His acts of kindness to the less fortunate were as well known as his skill as a physician.

Masta's life was cut short suddenly when he fell ill with typhoid fever. Within days, his condition became critical. On October 21, 1861, at the age of 42, John Masta died.

Source: A History of Barton, Vermont, by Darlene Young, 1998, pg. 153
Contributed by: Judith Ranta

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - The above is transcribed as found. It may contain errors or inaccurate information.